On Wednesday the Democratic National Committee claimed that they were being hacked, but they are having to walk back their statements after realizing it was all just a security test, Axios reported.
The false alarm started when the DNC was alerted by a third party cybersecurity firm, Lookout, that the organization could be the victims of a phishing attack — a strategy that allows hackers to pose as a company or organization soliciting an individual’s personal information.
According to CNN, a page was created to look like an access page to a service called VoteBuilder, a service that helps Democrats manage its digital voter operations across the country.
DNC chief security officer Bob Lord slammed the Trump administration in a statement to CNN that said, “These threats are serious and that’s why it’s critical that we all work together, but we can’t do this alone. We need the (Trump) administration to take more aggressive steps to protect our voting systems. It is their responsibility to protect our democracy from these types of attacks.”
The idea was that officials would input their login information, and hackers would retrieve that information from the fake site.
However, the DNC is having to walk back those comments after it turns out that the fake login page turned out to not come from hackers.
In fact, the fake login page came from the Michigan Democratic Party — a separate entity from the DNC.
According to Lord, the organization wasn’t authorized to conduct the security test.
He told NBC, “We, along with the partners who reported the site, now believe it was built by a third party as part of a simulated phishing test on VoteBuilder.
The test, which mimicked several attributes of actual attacks on the Democratic party’s voter file, was not authorized by the DNC, VoteBuilder nor any of our vendors.”
The goal of this test was to mimic other phishing attacks, however, as Axios points out, this is a “slight black eye” on the organization for looking “foolish” on getting the press fired up over what turned out to be just an internal matter.
With just months before the midterm elections, cyber attacks on campaigns remain a very real threat.
On Monday, however, Microsoft announced that it had uncovered Russian hacking attempts into the conservative organizations.
The tech giant said that it had discovered two sites that seemed to be doing what the DNC had claimed someone was doing to them.
They announced that hackers had created fake sites that mimicked two conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute.
Regarding the attacks, Hudson Institute spokesman David Tell said, “We’re glad that our work is attracting the attention of bad actors. It means we’re having an effect, presumably.”
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